Brio Tuscan Grille

 

brio

The first of several Scottsdale Quarter restaurants, Brio Tuscan Grille, opened last week and I was treated to a sampling of Brio’s delicious, Italian-inspired eats. The second Valley location of Brio (the other is in Gilbert’s San Tan area) sports Old World, Tuscan influences, from the cream-colored drapery and floral fabrics to the antiqued planters and gold-ish walls. I appreciated that even though Brio is a chain establishment (the new Scottsdale spot is among several throughout the country), I did get the feeling that I was embarking on something special. Plus, I am a sucker for the green-and-white awnings that decorate the exterior of the restaurant.

brio-beef

To start our feast at Brio, we sampled several delicious appetizer selections. The beef carpaccio, served with mustard aioli, capers and fields greens was very tasty, and I was taken with the balsamic dressing that covered the greens. The lobster bisque was flavorful, though it could have benefited from a few more chucks of lobster. The bruschetta with proscuitto, asparagus and caramelized onions was my favorite starter–for a gal who doesn’t like onions, I thought Brio’s pinot noir-soaked variety was delicious. For the main event, I ordered up the shrimp and scallop risotto. Shrimp and petite scallops mingled in a flavorful dish of Parmesan cream, basil, pesto, fire-roasted tomatoes and Bercy sauce. The chicken milanese pomodoro also received a thumbs up from me. The chicken was moist yet crispy on the outside and the pomodoro sauce that covered the accompanying angel hair pasta was light and fresh-tasting. To finish up, a “dolchino” version of tiramisu was in order. The traditional treat was served in a espresso cup and featured the usual suspects of lady fingers flavored with coffee liqueur, mascarpone cheese and cocoa. I like that most of Brio’s dessert are available in miniature dolchino versions (you can even get a sampling of several small desserts if you’d like). You can still have a treat–but not feel too terribly guilty. 15301 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, 480.607.1100, http://brioitalian.com/.

brio-bruscheta

The opening of Brio certainly has me stoked for the other Scottsdale Quarter restaurants to open their doors. Here’s what’s on tap for the remainder of 2009 and 2010:
Parc Central (boutique dining and lounge)
Momenti Café (Italian-inspired coffee and beverage lounge, sandwiches, desserts, art, live music)
StingRay Sushi (sushi bar and restaurant)
Santorini Cuisine (modern Mediterranean cuisine unique to region)
Tutta La Casa, a Fox Restaurant Concept (Mediterranean-inspired cuisine)
Bing Crosby’s Restaurant (golf and Hollywood-themed restaurant and piano lounge)

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